Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Race Report: Park City Point to Point

I knew I wasn't going to do well at this race.  After the atrocity that was the Leadville 100, and then going out of the country for a couple of days for vacation in Madrid followed by a week in Dublin for work, I was not mentally or physically prepared for this race.  My only goal was to finish it, although I was hoping for something around eight hours.  

The start of the race went pretty well until I got a flat maybe at around mile fifteen.  Honestly, it didn't really upset me at all.  I knew I wasn't going to do well and it was another reason to just enjoy the ride without pushing the pace too hard.  As the day progressed, my performance slowly became worse.  About 3/4 through the race I hit a wall.  I had gotten behind on my nutrition.  This was partly due to the aid station locations.  There was one at 1/4 and one at 3/4, but nothing at the half mark.  I never finished my first nutrition bottle before grabbing the second at 1/4.  So there I was, climbing up another long climb going so slow a turtle could have passed me.  I thought for sure that I had bonked and not only was my race over, but the season.  I ate a honey stinger and some shot bloks hoping it would bounce me back a little.  Luckily, it did after about twenty minutes or so.

On the race website it stated the race was 14,000 feet of climbing.  At about mile sixty I wasn't even close to that.  Another racer mentioned that there was one last climb before the finish.  The whole race I was expecting a couple of monster climbs, and with only fifteen miles to go I was thinking the last climb was going to be some 3000+ beast.  I was already in a bad place so I conserved as much energy as I could.  I finally came to that climb within the last couple of miles, and although it hurt like hell, it wasn't even 1000 feet.  I finished the race not even breaking 10,000.

My final time was 9:10:37.  Terrible would have been 8:45.  This was just pathetic.  This, my friends, was another lesson in endurance racing.  My July was a big month... perhaps too big.  I was so worried about under doing it since I had a vacation scheduled in the middle of my race season that I ended up over doing it.  Another thing that didn't help is that I had began training in January, and after eight months I was burnt out.  This was my first year of having a big race schedule so I'm still learning.  Next year I'm going to take January off, simmer down a little in July, and hopefully still be competing into early September.  You're always learning in endurance racing which may be why I love it so much.

Although it took me all day, I still checked the Park City Point to Point off my bucket list so I consider it a success.  I didn't give up, even though I was pretty sure I was going to literally die out there.  I will be back next year to try it again.  Just one more endurance race left this season, the Winter Park Epic.  I'm going to suck at it badly, but I just can't pass up fifty miles in Winter Park.  This is going to be "fun"!